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Collective agreements and resistance from unions have been identified by public sector decision-makers as the two greatest barriers to public private partnerships.

As if to prove them right, CUPE staged an alternate media event at the swish Toronto club where the Canadian Council on Public Private Partnerships was unveiling its latest self-serving survey.

The CCPPP had invited Frank McKenna, ex-premier of New Brunswick, to sing the praises of PPPs. What they didnt know is that National President Judy Darcy, University of Manitoba professor John Loxley and CUPE researcher Ron Crawley would be setting up shop in the next room.

Challenging the sales job by the Council, Darcy unveiled CUPEs own report showing that PPPs are bad for citizens and taxpayers, endangering the quality of essential public services like water, health care, education and transportation.

Calling McKenna a poster boy for PPPs, Darcy said McKenna should know better than most what a dismal failure PPPs have been. Because when he was premier of New Brunswick he began several PPPs that failed, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and undermining the quality of public services.

The headline next day in the Toronto Star read CUPE slams joint ventures. Chalk one up for the forces of light.